27° 34′ 28.9992″ N, 84° 29′ 36.9996″ E
So far in Nepal, I have had three extremely different experiences with food. I have eaten at my camp, traditional restaurants, and in the jungle. Nepali people always eat a meal called dahl baht (doll bot) twice a day. Dahl is a lentil soup, which in America we call a bean, and baht is white rice. The typical Nepali person will wake up, drink a spiced milk tea and biscuits. Then, at ten o’clock in the morning Nepali people eat their first meal of dahl baht. Later, in the afternoon they will have a light snack. Then, at seven o’clock in the evening, they eat their second meal of dahl baht. This is very different from the way we eat in America. Can you imagine eating only two meals a day?
At my camp I am very lucky. I eat three meals a day, instead of two, because there are a lot of researchers from all over the world here and the staff likes to make everyone feel at home. I eat breakfast at eight o’clock every morning. There is usually oat meal and hard boiled eggs. For lunch and dinner I eat dahl baht with sides of curried (a spice) cauliflower and sometimes a side of meat.
Also, I enjoy traditional Nepali restaurants. These restaurants serve mid-afternoon snacks. My favorite dish is called sekuti set (se-cooti set). It is a plate of spiced soybeans, beaten rice, curried potatoes, and a side of bison meat. For a snack it is really filling. If I do not get sekuti set I order a snack called momo. A momo is a Tibetan form of a pot sticker. Momos can be filled with vegetables or meat. My favorite momo is filled with garlic, cabbage, cilantro, chili peppers, onions, turmeric, and olive oil on the inside.
I love dahl baht! Even though I eat it twice a day I think I could eat it for the rest of my life and not get tired of it. Dahl baht reminds me of beans and rice; a meal I often eat at home. Also, I enjoy drinking spiced milk tea in the morning. I have discovered foods that I will continue to eat when I am back in America.
The camp has three cooks. Since Nepal does not have electricity twenty four hours a day, there is a gas stove in kitchen. Due to the shortage of electricity there are no refridgerators in Nepal. Food is purchased at the out door market and prepared fresh everyday. Every meal here is made from scratch. Food is not available pre-made or in boxes. It takes hours to make one meal. Dahl has to boil for at least an hour before it is soft enough to eat. I helped the cooks prepare dinner, one evening, and it took nearly three hours. We had to peel and cut all of the vegetables: garlic, onions, potatoes, and carrots by hand. We had to go to the store to buy raw meat, then we had to cook it.
Nepali people eat a lot of dahl baht because it is inexpensive which means it does not cost a lot of money. Lentils, rice, cauliflower, and potatoes grow in Nepal and are they are easy to find. Nepali people like to add local spices to their food. I can always expect to taste turmeric, garlic, ginger and a spice called masala in every meal. Meat is only served sometimes because it is expensive which means it costs more money.